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Asplenium oblongifolium. Huruhuru whenua. Shining spleenwort.

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Asplenium lucidum

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Very young, succulent and mucilaginous shoots eaten (Colenso 1880).

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In John White 1887, vol iii, p3:  Rata fells a tree, which the forest folk reerect on its stump, because their consent had not been obtained. Rata acknowledges this and says, "What you say is right; but I have a desire to make a canoe for myself, in which to go and avenge the death of my grandfather, who was killed by Pou-a-hao-kai (or Pou-a-ho-kai) and Matuku-tangotango." They answered, "It is well. Cut the tree down, and when it is felled go and get some pare-tao (Asplenium), and cover the stump with it. Then you may adze the trunk for a canoe." He did as instructed and made his canoe.....

Paretao refers also to A. polyodon (also widespread) and A. obtusatum (shore spleenwort)

Best 1907 (p.250) records this tradition, and also says "A Ngati-Awa note in my note-book says that when a canoe was dubbed out in the forest, fronds of the mauku fern were fastened thereon, though the meaning of the act is not explained"

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28 May 2007
2 July 2020
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